Ocala Gran Prix readies for florida winter tour

Ocala, Florida – February 12, 2012 – Ready to continue their assault on the Formula Kart Productions Florida Winter Tour (FWT), Ocala Gran Prix will make the five-hour trek south to the Homestead Karting Complex for rounds three and four in the Rotax program. After a successful opening weekend of competition that saw the high powered team walk away with four wins and eight podiums, OGP drivers will be looking for more as the championship chases begin to take shape.

“Our results spoke volumes,” expressed OGP Team President Jorge Arellano. “We have a lot of talented drivers and the cards played well for us at PBIR. We are striving to improve on these results and score more podiums, wins and ultimately championships.”

Ocala Gran Prix drivers were at the front of the field all weekend long and when the final checkered flag had flown, several of them stood atop the pile. Back as the Rotax DD2 points leader, two-time United States National Champion Cody Hodgson will look to keep his streak of podiums alive. As the current points leader in the division, the field of competitors will place the target directly on the back of Hodgson in South Florida. Also seeing action in a DD2 powered kart will be DD2 Masters driver Bill Lester. Competing in his first Florida Winter Tour, Lester came home with consistent results and currently sits fifth in the overall standings.

Perennial front-runner Nick Neri will be back behind the wheel of his Alex Speed tuned Rotax Senior kart. Neri, who left Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) with a pair of podiums, has a slight point advantage over a stout field of multi-time regional, national and international champions. Looking to follow in Hodgson’s footsteps and add to his podium total, Neri will be a threat in Homestead.

A large group of Rotax Junior drivers is headed by another Ocala Gran Prix pilot as Canadian Parker Thompson utilized his consistency to stand atop the point standings after weekend one. Joined by another three OGP drivers in the top six in points, Ocala Gran Prix looks to take the Rotax Junior class by storm. Sitting fourth in points courtesy of a victory at PBIR is Floridian pilot Oliver Askew. The young talent rebounded from a disappointing finish on Saturday to take the win on Sunday.

Joining Thompson and Askew in the top five in points is female standout and World Karting Association front-runner Ashley Rogero. Fresh off a podium result at the Florida Karting Championship Series, Rogero will battle wheel-to-wheel with the boys as she looks to score her first Florida Winter Tour victory. Rotax Junior rookie Sebastian Sierra sits sixth in the overall point standings on the strength of a pair of top ten results. Fresh out of the Mini Max class, Sierra is proving that he is no slouch in the higher horsepower and bigger kart class.

A pair of Ocala Gran Prix Rotax Masters drivers sit in the top ten after PBIR with Jason Heffner and Robert Maier contesting in the oldest class on the tour. Heffner, in his first Florida Winter Tour event ever, stood atop the podium and followed that up with a solid sixth on Sunday. Maier battled hard for positions late in both main events and currently sits tenth in the overall title chase. Look for both competitors to improve on their results in Homestead as they look to position themselves for a shot at the overall championship in March.

Ocala Gran Prix Driver List:

Micro Max
–        Zach Hollingshead

Mini Max
–        Mathias Ramirez
–        Olivier Bellanger
–        Mikey Hornborg
–        Sting Ray Robb

–        Parker Thompson
–        Oliver Askew
–        Ashley Rogero
–        Austin Garrison
–        Alex Hornborg

–        Nick Neri
–        Jonathon Kotyk
–        Andrew Evans
–        Brandon Salyer
–        Annie Hayden

–        Jason Heffner
–        Rob Maier

–        Cody Hodgson

DD2 Masters
–        Bill Lester

With a strong team of drivers, a talented crew of tuners is needed and that is exactly what OGP has put in place. With tuners from around the world with all levels of expertise, more than 300 years of experience can be found under the OGP Team tent. Tuning at all three Rotax rounds will be Martijn Koene, Mike Maurini, Richard Hergink, Mike Speed, Alex Speed, John Russell, Cale Wyse, Wesley Boswell, Blake Choquer, Nate Grindell, Mario Ioffredo, Neil Hodgson, Jay McKeague, Marty Neri, Kurt Folsom, Arie Ouimet, Bobby Kelley and Eddie Gennaro. Multi-time national champion Gary Carlton will also join the team for the remaining rounds of the Florida Winter Tour.

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1 comment

  1. Bacardi Bob says:

    with Bacardi paying for everything…no bars hold…i pick OGP…123

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